Archive for the ‘devotional’ Category

For the past few weeks my pastor has preached sermons on what the Bible says about Hell.

After listening to them I must say I feel very upset.  I struggle with what I’ve learned.  Have you ever really taken a good look at how the Bible describes Hell?  Here are some of the descriptions:

  • A bottomless pit
  • Eternal torment
  • Weeping and gnashing of teeth
  • Eternal destruction
  • Gehenna
  • Fire
  • Outer darkness
  • Loss and regret
  • Second death
  • Everlasting

The pastor went into detail on all of these items.  We also learned why God created a place like Hell in the first place; what it is like; and why a loving God would send anyone to a place like that.

I know often times when ever the subject of Hell comes up in a conversation someone asks this question, “Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?”  It is a good question and does make one wonder why. It just doesn’t seem like a kind and loving thing to do, does it?  We can’t understand from our own human logic because we are not God and can’t see things from His perspective.

Isa 55:9 NASB
(9)  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Do you know that God is Holy, Holy, Holy?

Rev 4:8 NASB
(8)  And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”

God is completely holy.  We don’t have anything to compare his holiness to.  He is holy and pure and cannot even look upon sin.  Sin cannot be in His presence, period.  That is why sinful people cannot go to Heaven.  We have to first be washed with the blood of Christ.  He took on our sins and paid our death penalty on the cross.  Only those who repent and call upon the Lord will be sin free.

Hell is real according to the bible.  Many people don’t believe there is a real Hell.  They think that all we do is live this life the best we can and then die,  are buried, and that’s the end of it.  For people who believe that way, life should be: eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.  I know people like that, and I must admit years ago I would have joined in with their chorus.  It’s really sad if this life is all there is. Wouldn’t you agree?

But, the truth is, this life is not all there is.  This is only a tiny part of what God has planned for each of us.  The Bible says, this life is only a vapor, and it vanishes.

Jas 4:14 NASB
(14)  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

But, we have eternal life.  In fact, everyone has eternal life.  Those who during this lifetime come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior will spend eternity in Heaven, and those who reject Him will spend eternity in Hell.  It is that simple.  And that is why these messages on Hell upset me. Hell is a very nasty place to spend even a second in, let alone eternity.

Oh, there are so many people I know in my own family, neighborhood, and  circle of friends who are in the second category.  They are on the road that leads to destruction.  They are on their way to Hell. And, some of these people are very religious folks who attend church regularly and think they are alright. That breaks my heart! 

Could you ever wish ANYONE to spend eternity in Hell?  No way!  Remember, some of those descriptive words:  fire, but not a consuming fire. A fire that burns forever, and the stench of sulfur (brimstone); constant and never ending torment; weeping and gnashing of teeth; a constant falling into a bottomless pit; horrible sounds and smells; a constant deep sorrow that they rejected the Savior; the awful loneliness of solitude, and loss of all friends (there won’t be any partying with friends in Hell as some say) and loss of loved ones; and a eternal separation from God.  Oh, my, to think anyone who I love would have to go through that.  It makes me very sad.

I know you have been to funerals where the speaker or a family member of the deceased said things like this:  “Well, he is in a better place now, we can take comfort in that.”  Really?  Or, “At least he isn’t suffering anymore.”  Really?  That all sounds nice but is it true?  We don’t know. That person may not be in a better place, and may be suffering much worse than when he was alive.  I don’t like hearing those kind of things because I know they are not usually true.  They say that about everyone not matter what kind of a life they have lived. 

It is very difficult to think about my own dear mother.  Did she make it to Heaven?  Or is she suffering in Hell?  I wonder.  I know she was a good person.  She always did nice things for others.  Later in life after I became a Christian, I talked to her about the things of the Lord.  I tried to live my life in a way that showed her a Christian life.  I do believe she became a Christian in her old age, but I DO NOT KNOW for sure.  I cannot know her heart, only God can. But, I cannot bear to think of her in that awful place called Hell.  It brings tears to my eyes just pondering it.  My mom in Hell? No! No! No!  I truly hope not.  I will never know for sure until I get to Heaven and look for her.  For now, I have to leave it in God’s hands.

If a Christian I loved was captured by a terrorist, tortured, and beheaded, it would be much better than going to Hell.  At least it would be over with.  But Hell is far worse than that and it never ever ends.

So, now that I’m all upset about the awfulness of Hell and the thought of anyone I know going there what should I do?  I want to cry.

I know I will pray more that God will reveal to them the fact that they are sinners and need Him.  I will pray more, and I need to talk to people about their eternal security.  I need to ask them if they are right with God, and if not, encourage them to get right with Him.  I need boldness of spirit and courage to do this.  Please pray for me.  I need to tell them what God has done in my own life and how He has saved me from an eternity in Hell.

Oh, I’m so grateful for that.  Why me Lord?  Why me?  For some reason, only God knows, I came to the realization that I needed Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I repented of my sin and accepted the free gift Jesus offers to sinners. I made Him Lord of my life.  I’m so thankful! 

If you have any suggestions of what else I can do please share with me.

If you would like to hear some of these stirring messages by Pastor Ron click on this site:

Faith Bible Church

Read Full Post »

Here is a Psalm that has blessed my heart.  I will insert my meditations along the way.

Psalm 16:1-11 NASB

Ps.(1) A Mikhtam of David. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a God who will preserve us?  A God that we can run to and take refuge in? He is our protector! David was a warrior and this sounds like warrior talk.  He needed to be preserved in battle and depended on God to take care of him.  We are also in a battle.  We fight a spiritual battle every day.  Our wonderful Father will preserve us and hide us in the palm of His hand.

Ps.(2) I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”

Jas 1:17 NASB

(17)” Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

We have nothing good apart from God.  He gave us our very being.  Think about all the good things we have and realize that God has given them to us.

He is LORD and MASTER:

Jud 1:4 NASB

(4) …deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Ps.(3) As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

1Jn 3:23 NASB

(23) This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (italics mine)

Do we love the brethren?  This is one of the tests of a true Christian.  David delighted in those who were like minded with him.

Ps.(4) The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

Here David talks about those who have turned from the true God and followed after other gods.  He said they will be filled with sorrows.  He would not have anything to do with them and their religious practices.  He wouldn’t even mention their god’s names.  Isn’t it still true today?  There are false teachers out there who wait to trap us in their snares.  They don’t serve the God of the Bible, and they will be full of sorrow when they wind up in Hell.  We too, should be like David and have nothing to do with them.

Ps.(5) The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

The Lord supports us and our inheritance is with Him.  And, what an inheritance that is!  Whatever He pours out for us to go through we can depend on Him for support.

Ps.(6) The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

Is our heritage beautiful to us?  That is something to think about.  God has given us a wonderful heritage in Jesus Christ and the church.

Ps.(7) I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

Yes, the Lord is our counselor.  His Word is true and sure.  We renew our minds as we study the  Word.  Sometimes I have a problem that I need to solve.  It could be a computer problem, or something about scripture I just can’t get straight in my mind.  Often when I wake up in the morning it is as though the answer just comes to me.  I know the Lord has something to do with that!  Have you ever had that happen?

Ps.(8) I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

We can depend on God.  He is there at our right hand all the time. He will never leave us or forsake us.  He is dependable.  Who else can we depend on ALWAYS?  No one! Knowing He is there with us we do not have to be fearful. He loves us and will take care of any and all situations that crop up.

Ps.(9) Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

Again, David says that he is secure in the Lord.  That makes his heart glad and he can rejoice.  He is not afraid for his life as his enemies set out to destroy him.

Ps.(10) For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

He also knows that when he dies his soul will not go to Hell.  He knows without a shadow of a doubt that he will go to be with the Lord.  Then he adds, that God will not allow “Your Holy One,” to undergo decay.  What a statement to be coming from David right there.  Do you see it?  This is the resurrection!  “Your Holy One,” refers to  Christ, and God would raise Him from the dead.  His body didn’t decay.  That is an amazing prophesy.

Ps.(11) You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

David ends this Psalm as he talks about how God will lead him in the path of life.  Do you allow God to lead you in your life?  Stay in the Word and you can. When David does this he finds the fullness of joy in God’s presence.   That is wonderful! 

Our joy does not come from the world.  It isn’t about having more things;  a bigger car, the latest electronics, or a splendid home.  Those things are nice and may make us feel happy for a time, but real joy comes when we spend time with God.  I hope you make that one of your habits.  You won’t regret it. 

Finally, he says in God’s right hand there are pleasures forever.  Have you ever thought what our Christian walk is going to be like down the road?  We cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be.  We will walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, serve Him, and praise Him.  God will just keep dealing out pleasures forever.  Forever must refer to our eternal life and there is no end to what God has for us.  Just one thing that comes to my mind is the fact that after the Rapture of the church when the Millennium period comes in, Jesus will be reigning as King on Earth and guess what?  We will be reigning with him! 

Rev 20:6 NASB

(6) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Italics mine)

That’s us folks!  I don’t know exactly how that will all work but I’m getting excited!  Come Lord Jesus!

Read Full Post »

1Jn 3:5 NASB  You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

So many times I’ve thought about how Christ died on the cross to forgive me of my sins.  What a wonderful thought it is to know that the God of all creation would actually forgive ME an unworthy, selfish, rebellious sinner.  It has always boggled my mind that he would do that for me.

But, the above verse tells us He actually not only came to bear our sins on the cross and forgive us of our sins, but to “take away sins.”  Did you get that?  He came to take them away!  That means we don’t have to sin any more!

Wow! What a revelation that was to me!  When we become a Christian we become a new creation in Christ.  Our old self is recreated.  We are brand new.  Yes, we still have our old bodies, but we are new inside, in our spirit.  

Sometimes, I’ve written a long email to someone.  I’ve spent an hour or more and looked up scripture and pasted in several quotes.  Finally, I’m almost finished and I either hit a wrong key, or my computer acts up, and in a blink of an eye that email that I’d spent so much time on completely disappears.  Something has taken it away, and it can never be found or recovered again.  I simply have to start all over again! 

I think when Christ takes away our sins it is something like that.  He actually takes them away never to come back to us.  Those sins are gone!

In the Old Testament there is a good example of the meaning “take away sins.” 

Lev 16:21 LITV  “then Aaron shall lay his two hands on the head of the living goat, and shall confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel, and all their transgressions, and all their sins, and shall put them on the head of the goat, and shall send it by the hand of a chosen man into the wilderness.”

This sin offering was laid upon the head of the scapegoat.  The goat then was sent away forever with the sins upon him.  Get the picture?  That is what Christ did for us on the cross. He took our sins away forever.

But, you say, “Wait a minute, I still find myself sinning at times.  I thought you said our sins were taken away.”

Those sins were taken away when we became a born-again Christian.  We were sanctified, made righteous and holy in God’s sight.  But, we still have our old flesh that we live in as long as we are in this world, and our righteousness will not be complete until we get to Heaven.  In the meantime, we are striving to become more and more like Christ.  We do not have the disposition to sin anymore.  We really don’t want to sin, but sometimes in a weak moment we do.

Yes, we do fall and sin at times, but it is not our way of life now.  If you are a true Christian you will see that your life has been transformed.  You are not the same person as you were before.  When you do sin, you will feel it in your spirit and not be able to live with it.  You will confess it and repent of it and get right with God.  That is what a true Christian does.

On the other hand if you call yourself a Christian but you still live your life the same way as before you got saved then you need to question if you are truly a Christian.  It is impossible for a true believer to continue to live in sin.  Your conscience won’t let you do that.  You are a NEW creation. 

2Co 5:17 LITV  So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!

Here again the scripture says, those old things have “passed away.”  They are gone, “taken away,” by Christ. 

The bottom line is this:  Once we are a true Christian we do not have to live in sin anymore!  Isn’t that great?  Sin does not have to control us anymore!  Now, we have a choice.  Before it wasn’t up to us as the devil controlled us, but now, God has given us a choice.  We can choose to reject sin in our lives! 

The way we do this is by living close to God.  We obey the scriptures.  We ask God to allow the Holy Spirit to give us the courage, and strength we need to overcome any sin that keeps us from living the way we should.

Read Full Post »

Friends, we are different when we become Christians.  God in His mercy and love has given us such great benefits that we need to learn what they are so we can appreciate what we got.  Sometimes, it is as if we’ve been given a gift that we’ve never opened to see what is inside.

When a person becomes a believer they also become a citizen of heaven.  What a privilege this is!

Php 3:20(a) NASB “For our citizenship is in heaven,…”

The Greek word, “politeuma”, means citizenship; “is” in the Greek means, “has it’s existence.” So, we can see that our citizenship is right now in heaven.  We are God’s children!

Isn’t it a huge thought to ponder the fact that our true (spiritual) citizenship is in heaven?  Here we are on this little earth.  We did not ask to be born.  Have you ever wondered why you were born? Or why you were born in a certain country and to a certain family?  I have.  I’ve never figured out the answer to that except that I know God is sovereign and it was in His sovereignty that I was born who I am and where I am.  I was born a citizen of the United States of America.  And, I’m happy with that. But, I’m also a citizen of heaven! That is amazing!

My life could have gone on, and I could have died and only been a citizen of the USA. Then, I would have been buried in the grave and that would have been the end of anything good that had happened up to that point.  Then, in the future I’d go before the Lord and be judged for my unbelief and would have been sentenced to live eternity apart from God in a place called Hell.  That would have been a horrible existence.  I’m so grateful that the Lord allowed me another way, even though I am a sinner, saved by grace, and don’t deserve it.

But, now that I’ve been born again by the Holy Spirit of God and am adopted into His family, God has made me a citizen of heaven.  Praise the Lord!  This is wonderful news!  My future is glorious.  I will be living in the New Jerusalem and serving along with Jesus Christ for eternity.  That boggles my mind!  You can read about the New Jerusalem in Revelation Chapter 21.  I love that section.  It shows us what our new home will be like. It’s very exciting and gives us something else to look forward to.

Php 3:20(b) NASB “… from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

Heb 9:28 LITV so Christ having been once offered “to bear the sins of many,” Christ shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation. Isa. 53:12

It gets even better. Christ is coming again for us.

Php 3:21 NASB  who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Mat 17:2 NASB And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

When Christ comes for His own at the Rapture, we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and our bodies will be transformed into a glorious body like His. (If we are still alive at that time, otherwise, we will rise out of the graves and meet Him in the air.)

As for me, I’m really looking forward to that day when I get rid of this old worn out body that has given me so much trouble through the years, and I’ll put on a body of glory, perfect in every sense, without sin, and beautiful beyond belief.  No more sin, dieting, exercise groups, aches, pains, surgeries, diseases, blindness, panic attacks, anxiety, agoraphobia, or any of the other things that haunt us today.

Yes, it is true right now we still live in this fallen world.  But, God has told us we should set our affections on things above.  We should be consumed with thoughts about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Word.  We want to think about what it’s going to be like there and how we will praise God and worship Him. We want to live our lives in a way that is honoring to Him.

Col 3:1-4 NASB Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (3) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

What a marvelous promise this is!

Can you see what a difference there is in us from unbelievers?  Can you see why it is sometimes hard for us as we travel this world?  Can you see how others do not understand us?  We ARE different!  We have been born from above by God’s grace and mercy, and we are very different then we were. 

In light of that fact, ask yourself this question:  How have I changed in my own life since I became a Christian?  There must be a transformation because when we are truly saved we are changed on the inside.  We will still be tempted to do things that are not honoring to God, but He has given us the strength and courage to resist and turn from those things.  We may stumble once in a while, but we are not seeking perfection, but the right direction toward being more like Christ. 

Sometimes even for true believers the pressure from the world around us draws us to it.  There are times when we are in the certain company and we are uncomfortable because the Holy Spirit who lives in us pricks our conscience.  We don’t always recognize that as the reason for being uncomfortable.  There are places we shouldn’t go anymore.  There are friends that are not good for us anymore.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Because we are different, and because we have been chosen by God, we need to stand up for God as a citizen of heaven and be a witness of the goodness He has bestowed on us.

Psa 73:24-26 NASB With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. (25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. (26) My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Read Full Post »

Factors That Contribute to Your Growth as a Christian
By Adrienne Carlson

If you are a Christian, I’m sure you feel blessed to be one. The oneness you enjoy with God is compounded when you grow as a Christian through the years. And the factors that contribute to your growth as a true Christian are:

1.  Faith: To be close to Jesus, you must have absolute faith in his teachings and the way of life that he has advocated through the Bible. You must believe that he is the one and only true God, the one who is responsible for all that we are and all that we are blessed with.

2.  Obedience: Once we accept that Jesus is our Christ and savior, we must obey his word without question. Only then can we prove that we are growing spiritually as Christians. The Bible teaches us certain values, all of which are reinforced when we go to church regularly and listen to the word of God.

3.  Acceptance: Being a true Christian means accepting who we are and all that has been given to us in life. While we can try to do all we can to uplift our status, we grow as Christians when we accept our lot without complaining or blaming other people for our troubles and miseries.

4.  Forgiveness: This is probably one of the hardest acts to perform, but as a Christian who wants to grow, you must be able to forgive even those who have wronged you grievously, because only when you are able to forgive are you able to let go of the past and grow as a Christian. Conduct: The way you behave in your interactions with other people and in various situations defines how you grow as a Christian. A good Christian abides by the values that the Bible has taught us in every little part of their lives.

5.  Evangelism: When you grow as a Christian, you want to spread the word to the whole world. You must teach the word of Christ to people who are not aware of his goodness and mercy. And to do this, you must know how to approach people and talk to them without hurting their sentiments. Evangelism does not imply force; rather, you grow as a Christian when you are able to spread the word of God and tell people of his greatness through your actions.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of online Bible Colleges.    Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions.

Read Full Post »

God, our Father, has given us a new relationship with Himself.  He has actually adopted us into His family. 

“If you want to judge how well a person understand Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.  If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.”  (Knowing God, by J.I. Packer, pg. 201)

We need to grasp what kind of new relationship God has given us.  We need to take time and meditate on what this actually means to us.

Here is a definition of adoption taken from the Westminster Confession (Chapter 12).

“All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; have His name put upon them, receive the Spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness; are enabled to cry, Abba, Father; are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him, as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.”  (Taken from Knowing God, by J.I Packer, pg. 205-206.)

That is awesome! When we’ve been given and promised all of that, what can we complain about?  It is a certainty that our Father will take care of us no matter what is going on in our lives.  Try to get that ingrained into your mind.  God will take care of you no matter what!

Where do we run for help and direction when things are going bad in our lives?  We’d better run to Abba, (daddy).  This shows me that when things go wrong I’d better get in prayer with my heavenly Father and talk to him.  It won’t do me a bit of good to call  friends and hash something over, or complain to them about whatever it is. It might make me feel better temporarily, but it won’t last and it could be sinful if I’m talking about another person. God has all the power and the provision we need.  Not only that, He loves us and wants to help us.

I’m writing this today as much for me as for you.  I had to have a special time of prayer with my Father this morning.  You see I got caught in the trap of worry.  My husband pointed it out to me last night and I really didn’t want to hear that and tried to rationalize it.  But, this morning when I woke up I realized that he was correct. 

We are contemplating moving to a different location and it is not nearby.  It will be a big undertaking from my point of view.  One part of me wants to go forward with it and the other part of me wants to stay put.  So, I struggle and worry about all the many details this move would involve.  And, there are many. 

Finally, I see that these thoughts really boil down to “fear of the future.”  I did not leave the future in God’s hands, I have tried to figure it all out myself.  Actually, when I think about it now, I realize that God already has it all figured out. 🙂  It’s a waste of my time and energy to stew about it in my mind.  Today I prayed and talked it over with God.  I confessed my sin of worry, and repented of it.  I will go forward now, and think of this as an adventure and watch how God is going to work things out.  It may be that we won’t move in the end. We will take the next step and take a trip to look the area over and see if we think we would like it. I pray God will guide and direct our decisions.

Psalm 23-28 NASB. (23) Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. (24) With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. (25) Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. (26) My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (27) For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. (28) But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.

Isn’t that a wonderful Psalm?  God is our refuge and strength, and over our present and future.  We are nothing without Him.  We need Him!

Here is another powerful Psalm that tell us where to look for our help and counsel.  It also tells us of some more of the wonderful benefits our Father has given us. 

Psa 121:1-8 A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? (2) My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (3) He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. (4) Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. (6) The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. (8) The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

In this next scripture we see that once we’ve been adopted into the family of God that we have eternal, everlasting life, and we will never, ever perish.  Also, that no one can ever snatch us out of His hand.  God is greater than he who is in the world.

Joh 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Here is another important portion of scripture that gives us the confidence we need to know that we know, that our heavenly Father is all that we need.  He will take care of us in every situation.  Again nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Rom 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (33) Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; (34) who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (35) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” (37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In summery, after reading and meditating on all of these marvelous holy scriptures we can rest assured that our Father in heaven will truly take care of us in every way.  There is no reason for us to worry, fear, or be anxious about the past, present, or future.  He loves us and will make sure we are cared for.  No other love is greater than His.  So, as the scripture says we are too cast (throw) all our anxiety (worry, stress, fretting) on Him, (our heavenly Father. Why should we do that?  It is simple really, because He honestly cares for us and has told us to do that.  He knows that it is not healthy for us to carry all the burdens in life so He has made a way that is better.

I Peter 5:7 Amplified Bible “Casting the whole of your care–all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all–on Him: for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.

Psalm 55:22 Amplified Bible “Cast your burden on the Lord (releasing the weight of it) and He will sustain you; He will never allow the (consistently) righteous to be moved — made to slip, fall or fail.”

I pray this article will truly bless you as you realize what an awesome Father we have!

Read Full Post »

One of the greatest benefits God has bestowed on believers is adoption.  This is probably only second to the benefit of salvation.

In order to be a Christian with a correct view of ourselves we must get a grip on what this actually means. It will change the way you see yourself and how you live.

Do you realize that as a Christian you have been adopted into God’s family? Have you ever thought about what this means?

I have a nephew who was adopted.  I remember the day when they brought that cute little bundle of joy home from the hospital only 2 days old.  I held that little one and looked into his eyes.  He was looking at me with trust and assurance that we would take care of him, a helpless little baby. 

It is really a special privilege to be adopted, as you were chosen by the new parents. They picked YOU!  They chose you to love and care for, and give you the best life they know how.  Also, they chose you to have the family name, and when the time comes to be an heir to an inheritance that they plan on leaving you.   

Eph 1:4-5 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (5) He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

This scripture is loaded, and I can only touch upon it.  God chose us before he even created the world!  Isn’t that amazing.  Somewhere out there God said “I’m choosing (put your name here)  to adopt into my family.”

He chose us to be saved, then He could forgive our sins and make us holy and blameless before Him.  He did all this in love, (agape love) as He predestined us to be adopted, through the death of Jesus Christ making it possible.  And, all of this was according to the kind intention of His will.  God in his kindness toward us did that for us, and it was his choice to do it.  It wasn’t anything we did, or anything we would ever do or say. It was all God’s doing to adopt you and me.  That is remarkable!  I often think, “why me?”

Rom 8:14-16 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

Now, here is another rich, rich section of scripture.  First, it says that all of us who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  This is true because those who do not know God cannot be lead by the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit because they do not have Him yet.

Then, he tells us that we have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again.  When we were saved we did not receive a spirit of slavery to sin and evil that we once had. We were born-again and became a new creation, and received the Holy Spirit to enable us to live a holy and godly life.  An unbeliever is always fearful to some extent. He should be fearful of the future and what lies in wait for him when he dies.  But, we received a spirit of adoption as sons. 

God in his kindness took strangers in as His very own. What a difference!  Knowing that, we can cry out “Abba! Father!” which means daddy.  He is our daddy, our heavenly Father!  Now we can call Him Father instead of God.  And, we can know in our hearts that our heavenly Father will care for all our needs, just as a good earthly Father would, but even better.  With this assurance we do not have to fear anything in this life.  Our daddy will take care of us.  What do you fear?  Let your daddy deal with it.

(Gal 4:5) so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Isn’t it wonderful what God has done for us?  He redeemed us.  He bought us with the blood of Jesus Christ, so that we would have the privilege of becoming His own sons and daughters. 

Rom 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Oh my!  Here we learn that the Holy Spirit as He lives inside us talks to our spirit inside us and assures us that we are children of God.  And, that we are heirs, and fellow heirs with Christ.  Can you imagine being joint heirs with Jesus?  That means when the time comes and Jesus is handed over all that God has for Him, we will be partakers of that also.  I can’t even begin to imagine what that all means, but I know it is good!  We will also be glorified in Christ Jesus.

Under the Jewish law the older brother had a double portion, but Christ admits all to a joint share of the great inheritance.  (The People’s New Testament Commentary”)

In verse 17, it also talks about “if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” It seems that we do suffer with Christ and for Him in this world we live in.  We are persecuted, some more than others.  There are people dying for their faith even today in certain countries.  When we suffer Christ suffers with us, as we are one with Him.  But, some day we will also be glorified with Christ!

I hope these scriptures will open your heart to the fact that you are adopted into God’s family.  It is certainly a privilege, and as we begin to understand this, it shows us how different we are from the unbelievers in this world.  Yes, we are different!  And we need to realize this and live our lives in a new way.  We don’t think like the world thinks, and we don’t act like the world, and we don’t speak like the world speaks. We are new in Christ.

When we realize how much God has done for us already, we can rest assured that He will continue to take care of every need we have.  We do not have to worry and fret about things.  God is in control and He is our Father.  He will take care of every thing.  He must really love us immensely to have chosen us before He even created the world.  He must have had a plan for our lives. Let’s try to live it.

“Help us Lord to live our lives in a way that is worthy to be called sons of God.”

Read Full Post »

A Beautiful Picture of God’s Creation! New River Gorge, W.VA.

vacation 115


Are you more anxious than usual?  Has the bad economy and job insecurity dragged you down?   Are you concerned you won’t have enough money to pay the bills, and you might lose your home?  Are you anxious about your children and their future? Are you worried about catching the swine flu? The list could go on and on.

If you are a Christian I want to remind you that we do not have to live with worry.  In fact, God has told us not to worry, “be anxious for nothing.”  God knows all about each of our individual lives and needs and He is still in control, even though it doesn’t look like it at times. 

Have you ever really grasped the truth that God is Sovereign?  It is so important and especially during these hard times to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God knows what you face, and that He does not allow anything into your life that He does not permit for His own purpose.  You may not fully understand but you can be sure He does. 

I’ve struggled with this truth myself and wondered why certain things happened, but I’ve come to the point where I know that God’s purpose for me is my eternal happiness.  No matter what happens I have a home in Heaven where everything will be wonderful beyond anything I can imagine. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.  Pro 3:5-6 NASB

Also, the Bible tells us that He will not permit us to go through more than we can endure.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1Co 10:13 NASB

When I talk about God being Sovereign I mean that God is absolutely free to do whatever He wants.  He is GOD! He is in complete control!  We are not.  He is in charge and rules over us and the world. We must depend on Him for the outcome.  He is Lord and He owns us, therefore, we can be sure He wants only the best for us.  And, He is the only one who knows what is best!  When we realize that God is the one who calls the shots then we can rest in the security of His wisdom.  That knowledge gives us peace!

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.    Psa 103:19 NASB

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. Psa 135:6 NASB

God is in control of the seasons and day and night.

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.” Gen 8:22 NASB

God controls the weather.

For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. Psa 107:25 NASB

God knows the number of our days, as individuals and as nations.

“Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass. Job 14:5 NASB

and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,  Act 17:26 NASB

God does whatever He wants, even over-ruling plans of people and nations.

Psa 33:9-11  For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.   The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

It is God who gives us success in anything we do.  We can do nothing apart from Him.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  Joh 15:5 NASB

God has adopted us into His family and given us an inheritance.  We were predestined to this for His purpose, and for His glory.

also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,  Eph 1:11 NASB

God is even Sovereign over our rebellion and sin.

So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. Rom 9:18 NASB

After pondering all of these scriptures, don’t you agree that God is in control?  He will take care of us and His will will be done in our lives.

Jesus in Matthew 6:25-34 tells us that we are not to worry.  Read this section. He says that He will take care of us.  Instead of wringing our hands and worrying we are to do the following:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Mat 6:33 NASB

Then He concludes by saying this:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Mat 6:34 NASB

Here is a great promise from God telling us what to do with our anxiety.  We can let God handle it. We don’t need to carry it.

casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  1Pe 5:7 NASB

Another promise we can count on.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Php 4:19 NASB

So, we can conclude with this wonderful uplifting scripture.  We do not have to be anxious over our circumstances.  We do not have to be anxious over perceived fears of things that might or might not come about. 

We must keep our focus on Jesus and know that He loves us and will meet our needs. 

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom 8:31 KJV

I pray this reminder will bless and help you keep your focus on things above and not on your circumstances.

My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psa 121:2 NASB

“Deny that God is governing matter, deny that He is ‘upholding all things by the word of His power’, and all sense of security is gone!” Arthur W. Pink

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: